PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) – The Board of Supervisors in Pittsylvania County had a busy night Tuesday finalizing important decisions moving into 2022.
- Deputies in Pittsylvania County will receive a 10 percent raise to compete with other localities in the region that have taken similar measures.
- The reassessment process has been extended by 90 days to allow more property owners to complete the informal appeals process with Brightminds.
- Three solar siting agreements have been approved that will generate approximately $41 million in revenue for the county over the next 35 years.
- Redistricting plans have been decided. Supervisors have adopted Plan A. This decision still needs certification by the State Attorney General. Should that happen, the newly-drawn districts for the Board of Supervisors and the School Board will remain in place for the next 10 years.
The outline of each decision can be found below.
10% Raise for Pittsylvania County Deputies
The raise affects all sworn law enforcement officers in pay grades 101 to 106.
Officials say that since the county’s pay is significantly lower than some of the surrounding jurisdictions, they have had issues recruiting and retaining qualified employees.
They cited Danville who recently increased their starting salary for officers to $45,000 per year and Lynchburg’s officers start at $50,000 per year.
Before Tuesday’s vote, deputies in Pittsylvania County started at $38,039 per year.
Reassessment Extended for 90 Days
As property values have sharply increased, county officials say they are extending the 2022 reassessment process for up to 90 days which was granted by the Circuit Court to allow for the improvement of the customer service experience for property owners in the county and allow the Virginia Department of Taxation to serve in an advisory capacity.
Some of the factors that led to the extension include the following:
- Staffing due to the COVID-19 pandemic at Pittsylvania County and at Brightminds.
- High increase in property values over the last four years which was largely caused by supply and demand shifts that resulted from the pandemic.
Three Solar Siting Agreements Approved
Supervisors approved three siting agreements for several solar projects in the county which is expected to bring around $41.6 million in revenue in the next 35 years which will help them to pay for several upcoming capital projects.
The approval of these projects comes after the Board of Supervisors made significant changes to the County’s Solar Ordinance during its November meeting.
The changes included an increase to the buffering and landscape requirements a reduction to the required distance between solar projects from five miles to one mile.
Another Ordinance change was the requirement that any applicant for a utility-scale solar facility should initiate negotiations with the County for a siting agreement, as authorized by recent legislation from the General Assembly, before beginning to apply for rezoning for a special use permit.
Supervisors unanimously adopted Redistricting Plan A which most closely resembles the current boundaries for the county’s seven election districts.
These new district lines, which are used for local Board of Supervisors and School Board Elections which will be sent to the State Attorney General for certification.
Last month, Pittsylvania County officials held a public comment period where residents could submit feedback in-person, online, via email and at a public hearing before the Board of Supervisors.
They say approximately 39 people submitted feedback.